Help in career path please

February 1, 2012 at 21:55:34
Specs: Windows, Linux, UNIX, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2003,
I'm currently studying Computer Science and I have hit a fork in the road. I can take the programming or network path. Or a little of both. For now I'm thinking of doing a little of both. Because I'm really quite confused. But I'm not sure if it's a good idea to be 'jack of all trades, master of none' if you know what I mean.

I need some sort of insurance that I'll be able to get a job once I graduate. I'm not sure if I'm going to have enough knowledge to be able to actually perform the job given to me if i get it. Like what do I do if i have no experience. Won't it be easier to get a job as a programmer without experience? Because you would just know how to write code, and now all you need is the user requirements??

Programming is really difficult to learn as my teachers aren't very good at their jobs, they ramble about code like we know what they're talking about and then we get sent off into the lonely wilderness to code assignments and I have to put a lot of my spare time into it re-learning and teaching myself. I kinda wish I knew how to code, because well, I think that would be cool. But considering the time, stress and pain it causes me......I'm just not sure if it's what I really want to do.

Networking is more easier for me to learn. I'm actually taking in this information as it is spoken in my language - english. But how am I supposed to get hands on experience in this field though? It's easy with programming just open up a developer and code at it. Because when I graduate I don't think employers would want someone for the job that hasn't actually done any networking.

I'm mostly thinking about the job vacancies, how easy it is to get into after graduation, and the progression into higher roles and such.

Please help, thanks in advance :)



See More: Help in career path please

Report •

#1
February 1, 2012 at 23:59:50
In your shoes I would go for the "little of each path". Don't tie yourself down too tightly to a particular speciality.

As for experience, I don't think it will make that much difference to an employer. In either case they will be taking on an unexperienced person and will need to provide on-the-job training. I know that if I were an amployer I would go for the candidate with the widest breadth of knowledge.


Report •

#2
February 2, 2012 at 08:22:52
Won't it be easier to get a job as a programmer without experience? Because you would just know how to write code, and now all you need is the user requirements??
I'm assuming you mean, "with experience."
I tend to use construction as an analogy for programming, so I'll do so here as well. The language; the syntax, keywords, and libraries; are your tools. Knowing how to use them is akin to knowing how to use a hammer or a saw. It's required to do anything, but it's so far down the list of what you should be concered with when solving problems. That said, the industry is run by people who have no concept of programming (and it never will); they're more interested in how good you swing that hammer. To be fair you do need the ablity to swing said hammer.

Programming is really difficult to learn as my teachers aren't very good at their jobs
Coding requires a certian way of thinking. Sadly the ones who are good at that way of thinking aren't neccessarially good at teaching others how to think like them. Knowing how to think like them is really what you should be learning, because languages change quickly and often, both in popularity and ability. Those who excel in programming are great at self-study. (Those who excel in the programming field are great at communicating with people. If you really want to be a successful professional programmer, take as many English and debate classes as you can.) If you really want to get good at coding, find some problem in your life, think about how some program can help sove it, and then make that program.

how am I supposed to get hands on experience in this field though?
Intern with a growing company. Networking is a foundation required for IT, but it's a foundation. Once it's in place in a stable environment, it needs minimal maintance.

I don't think employers would want someone for the job that hasn't actually done any networking.
Employers don't want graduates who doesn't have any real world programming experience either. Become an intern. Who knows? If the company likes you as in intern, you might end up with a job lined up when you graduate.

I'm not sure if it's a good idea to be 'jack of all trades, master of none'
The best programmers know computers and computing technology. If you do go the programmer route, don't shun the other fields. Who knows? You could end up writing some network program and you might need to watch your traffic on the wire. Suddenly your networking knowledge is relevant. Besides, most small to medium IT shops expect their programmers to do their own IT support.

How To Ask Questions The Smart Way


Report •

#3
February 2, 2012 at 11:20:59
Keeping in mind that I know nothing of being a programmer and actually not a lot more about networking, what do you WANT to be doing? I may be wrong but I don't imagine being a programmer is a very hands on type of gig. Do you mind having to deal with hardware from time to time? Getting your hands a bit dirty? Do you want to be basically changed to a monitor? (this is how much I know about programming) Remember the job market is different in different areas.

What are your plans after graduation? Are you doing all this to try and get a job with Xerox or Sysco or some other multinational company or a job in your home town? With no experience employers(most) won’t be hiring you as a manager but many won’t mind hiring you as entry level or a bit above.

As was suggested think about working as an intern for a smaller place before graduation. If anything it will pad your resume and who knows it may end up being a great fit for both you and the company. My first real paying job in this industry started with me attempting to get a job back in construction. The employer was having issues with his network that I thought I could help with. After I did I did not charge him hoping that he would consider hiring me back as a construction worker. Instead he hired me to rebuild his small network and then maintain it.

I can’t speak for your area but it seems that on a local basis programmers are not in high demand. Network administrators seem to be more needed. I have also found that job title to be a bit flexible if you will. I always saw administrators as people that had been in the job a long time. I most certainly have not but I am listed as a network administrator at three different companies. The staff under me is the chair I am sitting in at any given time. I see myself as an IT wanna be that has been given lots of freedom.

On the programming side of things I see a programmer as someone that can type three hundred words a minute that can’t be read by anyone but them. I have learned enough programming that if I need to write a program I can but what takes a programmer an hour will take me days.


Report •

Related Solutions

#4
February 3, 2012 at 03:16:59
Thanks for the great feedback guys. I think I'll just go ahead and do both. I can do both and do the most important papers in both paths. I will be missing out on web development, Multi Media Programming and Multimedia Application Development though. Do you think these papers would be important for learning how to program? I'm doing the other programming papers such as GUI, Principles and Advanced Programme Development.

Report •

#5
February 3, 2012 at 06:39:51
The two development platforms you probably should be concerned with are web and smart phones.

How To Ask Questions The Smart Way


Report •

#6
February 3, 2012 at 13:24:21
"The two development platforms you probably should be concerned with are web and smart phones."

Damn it, I missed out on Website/internet Development, to do Networking and Security. I'm doing Mob Apps and Web Apps though.


Report •

#7
February 8, 2012 at 08:18:30
"I kinda wish I knew how to code, because well, I think that would be cool. But considering the time, stress and pain it causes me......I'm just not sure if it's what I really want to do." If you're new to programming, and this is what you're feeling, then you definitely don't want to do it as your "day job." Compared to real-life, the learning process is a cake-walk. :)

Stick with the networking path. :)

Just my $.02.


Report •

#8
February 8, 2012 at 18:43:22
Thanks for your input Jennifer. Think I will just do programming on the side, even though it frustrates me, I'm still going to try learn more about it, probably won't be my major though.

Report •

#9
April 23, 2012 at 13:36:03
Initially when I first got into computers I took a 2 year diploma course that included a little bit of everything. Some operating system, hardware, networking programming in C/C++, etc

I learned two things in that course. I excel at networking and operating systems and I totally suck at programming.

If you're like me, and you don't have a knack for programming, you may want to pursue other areas. If you have a knack, then do it. But don't kid yourself about having the knack if you don't, you'll just waste time.

All companies prefer to hire people with experience, regardless of what you pursue. Once you're done training you will most likely have to accept an entry level position to gain experience. It might take a while to get a better job but it's a great opportunity to learn and persue more training. The more you know, the better the chances are you'll get a good job.

My first job I was working on a bench building/repairing PC's and laserjet printers. A lot of people I know started working on a helpdesk. It is what it is but if you build up a good collection of job opportunity web pages and check them regularly and apply for everything you're even the least bit qualified for, eventually you will land a better job.

With the more experience you gain, and a wider knowledge, the better jobs you can apply for.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***


Report •

Ask Question